Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nationalism and music in the Czech Republic

Many upcoming Czech Point Denver events include discussions of Nationalism and its indlufence on the Czech Republic at the turn of the last century and the early twentieth century. Betsy Schwarm shared these thoughts about Nationalism's influence on Czech composers.

In European politics, 1848 was a watershed year, as Marx and Engels published their Communist Manifesto, planting the seed that common people should take charge of their own fate.  Within the greater Austrian Empire, that ideal led various ethnic groups long controlled by the Hapsburgs to demand independence.  Prague, principal city of Bohemia, became a focal point of that unrest.  There was an artistic angle in this move toward national expression.  Czech-born composers, Smetana first, but soon Dvořák and various others, began making a point of alluding to Czech folk song and dance in their works for the concert hall, proving that one could be simultaneously Czech and also a composer of great music. 

If you are interested in this topic, here are some upcoming events that might interest you:

KAFKA, SPORTS, AND CZECHOSLOVAKIAN JEWISH IDENTITY

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 7:30 PM, AT SOBO 151 (151 S. Broadway in Denver)
Join Robert Adler Peckerar, assistant professor of Jewish Literature and Culture at CU-Boulder, for an interactive evening that examines the phenomenon of Jewish soccer in central and eastern Europe at the start of the last century – its controversies, politics, and importance in understanding the birth of a new European Jewish culture. And do it while enjoying a refreshing Czech beer in Denver’s favorite Czech sports bar. Free event. 21 ID required.

CZECH INSIGHTS FROM MUSIC AND LITERATURE

TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 7:00 pm, TATTERED COVER BOOK STORE LODO
From Dvorák to Kafka, Czech cultural figures have had a lasting impact on the arts. In this program with live music illustrations, we’ll consider the world view of three generations of Czech artists and how they have affected the arts even beyond their own borders. Includes presentations by music historian Betsy Schwarm, CU Boulder associate professor of German & Comparative Literature, Humanities and Jewish Studies, Davide Stimilli, and performances by the Opera Colorado Young Artists.

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